Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Comments by rasselas.redux

Showing 100 of 344 comments. Show all.

  • “How about replacing “schizophrenic” with the term “non-conformist”? And while we’re at it, we could replace the terms “depression” and “anxiety disorder” with the term “human”, and replace the terms “ADHD” and “bipolar disorder” with the term “childhood”.”

    Absolutely! And while we’re at it, how about replacing “therapist” with disingenuous friend for a fee, “ex-psychiatrist” with escapologist, and disability with…?

  • “I agree that the “psychosis” does communicate, usually in a disguised way, what the problem is…”

    There are over 140 unique interpretations of Kafka’s short story, Metamorphosis. Last time I looked none in that number attempted a psychiatric reading. But out the window of his bedroom looms a big grey old hospital in the distance, and I take that as an asylum, a motif representing his inexpressible horror about going insane.

    Any narrative about psychosis also has no final meaning. Now verily as it goes and so on people have their particularities, their penchants and their predilections, and all narratives are filtered through them. And in so doing, they sometimes create in themselves something so foreign that they refuse all involvement in their creation other than acting as sage and solemn spectator-specialist-interpreters.

    So you have readings, and you have over-readings, and even under-readings. These last being the readings of popular culture and polite company and political expediency.

    I have sat with numerous fortune tellers, numerologists, astrologists and what strikes me is how, just like some mental health professionals (and armchair pros, these being the Detective Columbos of the insert-your-ideological-term-here culture/non-culture), they are adamant that their reading is the one and only. Only their reading of Metamorphosis is the correct one, and the one which, usually, they want you to pay for.

    They want you to pay for them to do a reading! The cheek of it!

  • Thank you for reminding me that I exist.

    Bu to paraphrase your closing gambit:

    Psychiatry is the standard and everything else is “alternative.” Well, yes psychiatry *is* the standard and everything else *is* the alternative.

    I still haven’t read the book and am therefore in default cynical mode. So far so good for people who identify their problems as stemming almost wholly from some form of abuse. It’s long overdue that services readjusted to their experiences and needs. And psychologists are probably best placed to help them. Even if psychologists tend to also shoo away the most challenging of these people. In the UK, the new culture in helping survivors of abuse and neglect is to call in the police and send them off to Accident and Emergency Units. So yes, a well-equipped crisis service, even better, a well-equipped pre-crisis service, would be helpful to them. If that is what people want. And, there is plenty of evidence to suggest, that that is what people want if only it was provided to them.

    And, to be honest, for someone like myself, to be given time to spend with a rookie psychologist (someone who was nearly or about to complete their higher studies) would potentially be very helpful to have around during darker times. For instance, they might accompany me to Rome or New Zealnd on a fact-finding mission. Or they might find a way for me to crack jokes and offend people for a living. The sky’s the limit.

    Until I absorb the book — that is going to take months, I imagine — then I’ll keep my gob shut. Other than to say, on reflection, that I would have gladly been kidnapped as a child by social services — on the advice of a child psychologist — and taken away from my family and plonked into a more stable middle class home. I understand that this is going on rather more than it should, though.

    Due to overzealousness, a weakness which psychology doesn’t often talk about.

  • Just one last comment or two.

    Therapy is as much (if not more) dependent on the placebo effect as drugs are. And therapy can be at least as toxic as the drugs. The more narcissistic the client, the greater the chance the relationship will be considered a success (at least to begin with…)

    Also, this insistence on “distress”. For almost 20 years I’ve been trying to help people understand that mania, for instance (and psychosis) isn’t always a distressing event. In fact, it can be one of the most pleasurable experiences in life. Messy, unpindownable, and with little patience for swell-heads that claim to understand… and like, you know, really feel you… etc and so on… but just about the most tremendous and awe-inspiring event your noggin has the fortune to go through.

    What follows mania is often a depression, a soul-saving flight from the unbearable lightness, the unbearable beauty. I understand that is the reverse of what therapists often claim. But what do they know? Hold on a moment… this is not what their carefully selected (from a infinitely informative cache of 3 or 4) ex-/service user colleagues are saying, so dismiss it outright. It doesn’t fit the model.

    But we need a model. We must have a model.

    And so it goes that the model becomes more real than life itself…


    Time to quote Judi Chamberlin’s On Our Own again.

    “Many alternatives are “alternative” in name only, repeating us-them dynamics and reinforcing the notion of professionalism and expertise in contrast to incompetenece and inability.

    In her own words:

    “Becoming a client of any mental health service may result in being subtly degraded. Whether the service is a “traditional” mental hospital or an “alternative”, such as a halfway house, it is likely to view its clients as incompetent people who constantly need looking after. These attitudes prevent professionals from helping their patients to move toward independence and self-sufficiency, even when that is precisely what they claim to be doing.

    Alternative services must be designed so that this psychiatric elitism is eliminated. People who are having difficulties in living and who seek help with their problems are not served by a system that maximises their inadequacies and ignores their strengths, nor by one that implies that only incompetent people have problems. Professionalism demands that mental health practitioners project a neutral, impersonal manner. Sometimes this may be concealed by a bland friendliness, such as an insistence on first names, but it is, more likely than not, only a pretence of friendliness.”

    Puzzles me why she isn’t quoted more often…

  • “Diagnosis has been shown, overall, to incline the person diagnosed to have less optimism about recovery, make less effort to recover, and be more likely to use alcohol to cope, as well as to have lower perceived control over their difficulties and undermining the effects of therapy.”

    I like that, “undermining the effects of therapy” given that no therapy has ever been substantively shown to be better than any other, and even then the outcomes of being on a waiting list for 6 months has been shown to be as effective as 6 months of therapy.

    What are the assumed effects of therapy? Given that most therapists are, according to the 15 or so people I’ve talked to (that’s nearly twice the number consulted by the PTM team, and is thus, doubly robust) affirm that the therapist themselves were utterly dire. In other words, the therapists were half-arsed and not making enough effort to be a good therapist.

    And then this bit: “Diagnosis has been shown… [to make people] make less effort to recover.”

    Recover? Beg pardon?

  • I’m glad you have only suffered the one catastrophe. I think, in all fairness (in a universe that doesn’t give a flying ‘ow’s-yer-father for fairness) that’s more than enough for one life. I’ve tried counting my own catastrophes — I don’t know why I subject myself to this armchair interrogation, as it ends up excruciating — and the count just won’t happen. They blur into one another, overlap. A bundle of old wires, all tangled up and knotted, and no way of knowing which ends combine. Each and every time I think I’ve unknotted myself and am running now on a nice, contented, thread, it’s only a matter of time until I come to see that I had it all wrong, and it’s just as tangled up and messy as it ever was.

    I don’t know why people detest the modern therapies. I appreciate some people need to get a lot off their chest about their past. There is definitely a human need for the confessional. But once you’ve spilt the beans it’s a matter of now what? And I think it brings people to the same place as those who cannot attest to significant trauma in their life. And that is a place of, how has the past affected my ability to rationalise, to be healthily sceptical, and to balance out how I see the world with how I see myself.

    We all have at least a little bit of magical thinking in us. If we didn’t I doubt we’d ever fall in love or be moved by the poetry of nature. It becomes a problem when the magical thinking goes too far. I won’t burden you with where I personally draw the line. And most people draw the line somewhere or other. In short, people prone to excessive magical thinking are pretty much refusing to draw any line at all. And until they do, they are truly up the old creek in some way or other. Unless they join or form some kind of cult. In which case, their toxic refusal of rationality will follow its course. Which, if history teaches us anything, leads a whole bunch of halfwits into deplorable decadence of one kind of another.

    Still, there’s a lot of fun to be had down at the bingo hall. Don’t forget the lucky pen and lucky mascot…

  • Make no bones about it, I’m a bone fide looney. My very own version of it, of course. A class above the average lunatic (same as everyone else thinks). But utterly barmpot all the same.

    To paraphrase Charles Bukowski, it’s not that I don’t like people — I really do like people — it’s just that more often than not I find them disgusting, am disgusted by them, and so, for the most part, give them a wide berth. Add in an often intense self-disgust and what you end up with is a discontented hermit that prefers the company of the wind, and the sagacity of ants and other insects. And yet yearns deeply for connection.

    I am nearly at the age I never expected to reach. The age in which I long-imagined I could finally be myself and not have to put on any futile or disgusting act or pretension. And get away with it.

    But that’s all much of a muchness again.

    Some people characterise this age as the Age of Surveillance Capitalism. Less loftily, I prefer my own coinage: it’s The Age of the Creep.

    As soon as I leave home I am being recorded. In my home I am being recorded. Every micro-move is recorded.

    If ever I dreamed of overcoming selfconsciousness, it’s never going to happen in this life. The best solution I have found is the mountain-top. But there are limitations, obvious natural limitations. And it’s never too long until some vacuous git with a cameraphone appears…

    The mental health system in my area have embraced their new powers of surveillance with relish. It’s taken me a number of years to get to grips with the fullness of what is going on.

    I’m not sure if I was discharged because I finally called foul on all this, and it was making things awkward, or if, instead, it is simpler to just use all the powers of surveillance to keep tabs. Most likely the latter. So-called severely mentally ill people do not get discharged. All that paperwork is smoke and mirrors. If you are discharged with that SMI status rest assured that you have been successfully incorporated into a sophisticated surevillance apparatus. Which is also not passive. What I mean by that is, as the years go by, the surveillance system is taking on a life of its own, and moving into the area of behavioural control and influence. You might think you are living your own life. It takes some time to work out that you aren’t, and never will.

    And on that dubious-sounding note, I’ll bow out.

  • Okay so last night I had a read-through of the slides and, all in all, I expect some people would find them very helpful or at the very least, thought-provoking.

    For someone like me they wouldn’t be of any use. I already know how to think. I am already a rational person. I know about attributional biases and expectancy effects and the many ways the mind can play its tricks. I know about the value of not jumping the gun and so on. I know that feelings are not always facts. I know that suspecting something isn’t always knowing something.

    Many of these techniques might well help people to navigate psychosis without recourse to drugging.

    But often, people with psychosis, particularly those labelled schizophrenic, are unbudgeable magical thinkers. I’ve tried a few times in life to try and help magical thinkers move away from their childish thinking styles, but to no avail. In many ways it’s cruel to keep pushing them. To keep telling them they are getting it all wrong. It’s like dressing a small child in business attire and expecting them to become successful CEOs.

    And what I have also learnt is that while it is no doubt a good thing to be a rational sceptic it does not prevent one lapsing into psychotic experiences. What it does, it would seem, is prevent one from becoming totally overtaken by them.

    In recent times I used some quite nifty and cunning techniques to make real the fact that I had been under surveillance by the mental health services under new UK surveillance laws. One aspect of these laws is that it is now unlawful for anyone to confirm or deny to someone else that they have been, are being, or are going to be, put under intrusive covert or overt surveillance.

    So I figured out a number of ways to get people to tell me without explicitly telling me.

    And one by one they betrayed themselves.

    While this was going on a few attempts were made to CBT my mind out of the (correct) suspicion that I was under intrusive surveillance. In other words, the CBT techniques were weaponised. Suffice to say I had wised up on these techniques too and was able to counter them.

    Interestingly it was recently announced that much of the intrusive surveillance that has been going on rampantly in this country by various agencies has been predominantly unlawful.

    All correspondence relating to the unlawful intrusive surveillance of me has so far been ignored.

    As a european survivor of cage-beds said: You become the animal they see.

  • I have a lot in common with autistic people. I think my father would now attract an Asperger’s label. Irony being I once attracted a bipolar label and both have Nazi roots. Ironic to me anyway.

    A few years back I attended an academia meet-up in northern england, that was supposedly the beginning of a new alliance between the mad movement and the autistic movement. I fielded one question and it was dismissed by the great Peter Beresford. It probably didn’t help that I’d previously expressed my love for him on social media. I wasn’t sure if the snubbing was designed to break my heart. It didn’t. I didn’t really love him. I was in the midst of a rather cranky mania and pseudo-benzo withdrawal.

    Mania isn’t tolerated by anyone by the by. No exceptions are made for it. None at all.

    I left feeling confused. Impressed by the intellects on show but nonetheless confused.

    I remain confused.

    But all in all I think neurodiversity is a great idea and an impressive movement. I’ve been rekindling my interest in computer programming and wotnot and there is indeed a preponderance of autistic people in that culture. Code is a kind of poetic expression and everyone has their own style. Bash scripts. O the beauty of bash scripts.

    I realise I haven’t contributed much, I just wanted to make a show of solidarity with our autistic brothers and sisters. We have a lot in common. We’d do well to stand together.

  • Scroll down to the bottom of this page

    and you’ll find details of how you can make a donation to the programme


    I’ve downloaded the modules to have a look. I think that the majority of people would benefit from thinking about their thinking. It is, for instance, useful to become acquainted with one’s style of thinking, and one’s biases.

    Common sense is a funny term because it is not what it says it is. Common sense is uncommon.

    The majority of people would also benefit from learning how to communicate their message briefly and succinctly. To cut to the chase. If only out of simple respect for others.

    Not having looked yet I can’t add much more. Other than anything involved in improving peoples’ ability to think and rationalise is probably for the better.

    And thanks to Mr Moritz et al for offering these resources gratis. It’s heartening to see academics and the institution put learning and self-improvement above greed and profit.

  • I would expect no-less than this in a surveillance society. I know nothing about CVS or working practices, yet am confident in predicting that a computer system would have triggered the advisory.

    The pharmacist would have been alerted by the computer system; if they had chosen to do nothing the computer system would have recorded that too. Although, many of these uber-stasi systems don’t allow the lack of action to be recorded as an action. The pharamacist would have been endlessly harassed by the computer system until they made a loggable action.

    In the chain of coercion sometimes the best, and loggable action, is to pass the problem on down the chain of coercion.

    Maybe 25mg is a low dose of antiemotional. To put that into perspective, even at that dose, you’d struggle to give it away. Even still, a cold turkey withdrawal isn’t a smart move. Everyone in the chain of coercion — and everyone officiating the chain of coercion is also under coercion — should do their utmost to avoid cold turkey withdrawals.

    Chances are the prescriptions hadn’t been picked up because the patient had snuffed it. Or maybe they had disocvered that high doses of niacin enabled them to wake up into their shamanistic healing magic, and they were busy undertaking that journey to nowhere.

    Or something else entirely.

    The important message to get out is that in a post-stasi surveillance society, you win by beating the computer system. So long as everything is logged and quantified everyone is happy.

    So: don’t cold turkey; and during non-official withdrawal, continue picking up your ‘scripts.

  • You’re right. The majority of sites use cookies to enable their users to log in. They are called session cookies. And you’re right that most sites use them. It’s true too that cookies can be automatically deleted so that when you leave a site, its cookies don’t go on to track you, sometimes indefinitely.

    Although many sites do not use cookies for entirely innocuous reasons. And there are some kinds of tracking cookies, for instance those instigated by Flash, that deliberately avoid detection and deletion. None of those are here, it’s important to add.

    I had forgotten about having an intention to examine the MIA cookies. My hunch is they are all innocuous.

    It’s the third party trackers I don’t like or trust. It’s like some smart-suited creep stalking you in a library, breathing down your neck and watching your every move, noting down every aisle you pondered down, and every book you so much as glanced at, let alone read, that gives me the heeby-jeebies, here, there, and everywhere.

    So as a general rule, when I encounter these creepy scripts, I put a bag over their heads and lock them in a cupboard, so to speak.

  • @ Julie Green

    Windows software can be run inside the Wine environment on Linux.

    The sad fact about Linux is that it is now the system that forms the infrastructure of our surveillanced and monopolised digital age. The hope was it would drive a revolution in openness and freedom.

    Those bloody naive libertarians!

    Someone said to me yesterday, “I’ve had enough of Facebook. I’m moving over to Instagram.”

    Facebook own Instagram.

  • A very effective way to gain an improvement in depression is to find a very busy psychotherapist of any kind, of any ability or reputation., it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are very busy people and have a long waiting list.

    Numerous studies have demonstrated that being on a waiting list for psychotherapy for 6 months results in improvement outcomes that match the improvement outcomes of 6 months of therapy.

  • Rather than swim against the tide of mad peoples’ knowledge and experience, consider the virtues of humbleness and self-forgiveness.

    We all have some so-called recovery to work on.

    All that you are writing here is an index to what psychologist’s call, rationalisation. I can kind of appreciate why you are choosing this self-defence. Your truck in life was once to administer brain-disabling treatments. You will be more easily forgiven and maybe will be better able to forgive yourself if you face up to the fullness of what these drugs do to people and, by implication, what you have personally been involved in.

    Behind you, in your past, will be many, many victims, who to this day are still struggling with the disabling effects of treatment.

    Acknowledge them. Respect them. Allow them their full humanity, their fullness as human beings. Saving your conscience from the travails of guilt and shame is not more important than the many shattered lives and ruined souls that you’ve undoubtedly left in your wake.

    I respect that you have left all that behind. But your attempts here to rationalise all that carnage leaves a bitter taste.

    We are here to help one another. Some of your message I can get along with, is important. But we owe a duty to one another in the survivor movement to help one another grow, and one cannot grow if one does not embrace authenticity. Embrace authenticity and growth will occur. And this as true for you as anyone.

  • The plugin also tracks and collects personal data for a third party. In fact, somewhat controverisally, this plugin has a default “tracking pixel” that carries away user data to be collated into linked databases, that are sold to the highest bidder.

    Point of all this being that while data collection by MIA may be minimal and “trusted”, third party collection of personal data on this site, through over 20 plug-ins, is intense.

  • There are six cookies that collect data on MIA. There are also 5 google cookies, some of which will follow you around after visiting here.

    There are 22 plug-in scripts, some of which will be collecting personal data for third parties.

    A script plug-in from “” collects data on your behaviour while on the site, analysing what you looked at, for how long etc.

    These are all methods of collating personal data, the Google cookies probably being the most intrusive.

  • Richard Stallman, a hero of mine, and an American, is not the founder of Linux. Although he is an advocate of free iterations of Linux, such as Trisquel and a critic of non-free iterations of Linux, such as the well-known Ubuntu. He’s the founder of the Free Software Federation, GNU and the concept of copyleft. Linus Torvalds, a Finn, is the founder and a developer of the Linux kernel.

    But good to see Stallman being promoted here. The whole free software movement needs more attention. ‘Free’ as in freedom, ie respects your fundamental right to privacy and control/ownership of your data.

  • I agree with you, other than the bit where an enlightened ex-/prescriber must renounce psychiatry. Personally, I think it would be sufficient to renounce antipsychotics and antidepressants as inhumane responses to madness and misery, and then take it from there. Otherwise, they will easily be written off as cranks with an axe to grind.

    Akathisia is an effective form of torture which can break the will of even the most resilient individual. Akathisia is not a side-effect in many cases, or an unfortunate effect. It’s a known torture device that can be utilised to bring about behaviour change, in a classic behavioral sense. It is a weapon to enforce a sadomasochistic relationship.

    Tardive Akathisia rarely gets a mention. It’s just too easy to put it down to a character flaw, a misguided will, or an attitude problem, or a symptom of delusion or psychosis. The disablement is real, though. How prevalent it is is anyone’s guess. Try and find a health professional willing to diagnose it…

    Magical thinking cannot overcome these drug-induced disablements. They cannot be overcome through willpower or positive thinking. One cannot overcome tardive akathisia (or dystonia or dyskinesia) with that universal prayer of (false-) Hope. To even suggest to someone stricken with these disablements that they should have hope that they can be magicked away by thinking is another form of sadism, another human cruelty to stack on top of the cruelty that led to the permanent impairment in the first place.

  • I have thought about this issue myself, some time ago.

    My conclusion runs thusly:

    Some people have a vested interest in denying brain damage/impairment/disablement induced by psychiatric drugs which, for some unfortunate souls, is altogether permanent and insurmountable.

    My observations of this tendency to denialism, is that the closer someone has been to this damaging process (ie. prescribing the actual drugs to human beings of their own volition) the greater the likelihood is that they will hold a determinedly denialist position with regards brain damage.

    For some ex-/prescibers, denial of brain damage is a common defence mechanism. To let go of this defence mechanism they would have to come to terms with the fullness of their own involvement in human cruelty. Generally a denialist will refer to things like “brain plasticity” and the ability of people to will themselves better. In other words, no matter how damaged someone is by being prescribed psychiatric drugs, the prescriber gets off the hook.

    This article is an appeal from, I assume, an ex-prescriber, addressing all those people out there with drug-induced brain (and body) damage and impairment, to shift the focus of blame away from the prescriber and focus it entirely on themselves.

    It stands as an egregious example of the kind of arrogance psychiatry fosters as a profession, which mustn’t be so easy to entirely grow and develop from, and realise one’s true potential as an ethical human being.

  • “Everyone knows consuming massive quantities of opium for 20 or 30 years never hurt anyone.”

    Opium doesn’t hurt people, by the by. In fact, the evidence, as scant as it generally is for taboo psychoactives, suggests that frequent opium use lengthens life, rather than reduces it.

    What causes problems with opium isn’t the opium, it’s all the other shenenigans that tend to come with it, like prohibition, violent criminal supply lines, adulterants, narcissistic rock stars, violent crime, prostitution, and so on.

    Opium itself is a fairly benign substance if used sensibly by sensible psychonauts.

    Synthetic opioids are another matter entirely.

    But I was only pointing out to Mr Wagner that the evidence linking benzodiazepines to the unestablished disease of dementia is altogether uncompelling, and at turns, contradictory. All we can say is that there is a strong correleation in some studies and a very weak correlation in other studies. And that it is alarmist to cherrypick only the studies that support a causation claim.

    Mr Wagner agreed with me and altered his graphic a little bit, to tone down, as much as he felt was necessary, the alarmism.

  • The alarmist claims you make about benzodiazepines are not as clear cut as you present them.

    This study ( published in 2016 in The BMJ

    found that higher exposures to benzodiazepines over long periods contributed to a *decreased* risk of dementia.

    The study as a whole found no evidence of a causal link between benzos and dementia.

    Why present unknowns as established facts?

  • It’s a bum-deal to have suffered for 25 years with free will issues that made you want to take antipsychotics.

    If you haven’t struggled with serious psychoses then you will not appreciate the potential benefits of using your free will to pop a neuroleptic.

    The world I live in is a real world full of extraordinary and not-so-extraordinary and endlessly intersting and not-so-intersting diversity. In this real world there are people that take antipsychotics that do not become zombified. In fact, they gain a better quality of life.

    By the by they are unlikely to read here and so avoid the insult.

    But it is an insult you made there, nonetheless.

  • There are so many factors that probably contribute to dementia it’s mindblowing. It’s probably just as with schizophrenia. It may manifest in ways that are difficult to impossible to distinguish, but a small number probably do have a majorly physical cause, like a disease, and the rest are the result of some complex interaction between drugs popped, insomnia, alcohol, environmental toxins, genes, the modern foodchain, loneliness, not enough mental stimulation, abuse, too much stress and cortisol, and so on.

    It interests me that people call for the search for a physical cause to schizophrenia to be abandoned. I once characterised that search as an egregious hunt for the snark. But it strikes me as odd that the hunt for the physical cause of dementia has been going on just as long, but no-one calls that a folly. Or demand that they make an extra effort to recover, or abandon the sick role, or break the chains that bind them to psychiatry.

    I’m not cynical about modern medicine. It may not cure as often as we would prefer but it certainly lengthens life and the quality of that life, for most of the people, most of the time.

    In fact, all the people I know who take antipsychotics have a much better quality of life than they did before the drugs. They have free will, and are intelligent, and have sharp senses of humour. Some are so sharp they keep me on my toes. So I have to try and balance what I see with how I feel, because I don’t get along with most psychiatric drugs, and have been tortured with a depixol depot in the longago past. Most people haven’t had these terrible experiences and are bewlidered and at times angered by my take on it. They say they’d rather have the edge taken off the fear and horror. Many people can’t get past that dreadfulness, they can’t find a way to live with it, or through it, and so it’s quite impertinent to demand a world where they are expected to suffer. Especially, as someone recently said to me, their sacrifice is wanted so someone else can further their interests in a turf war.

  • @ bron76 & JanCarol

    Dead salmon’s brains are also shown to be active on an MRI.

    Dementia is not an established brain disease. Neither is schizophrenia.

    To some extent not yet allowed in polite conversation, the deterioration in both is probably the outcome of excessive alcohol use, and the brain damage resultant from such necrotic poisoning.

    PS If you have something the scientists don’t (ie proof) then please share it with the world.

  • “Consider the case of advanced dementia (that is a real brain disease) … as time progresses you lose your memory, ability to problem solve and so on. As a consequence you lose your free will”

    Dementia is a “real brain disease”?

    Apparently, it isn’t. If when you write “real brain disease” you mean one that is established as such in science. If that is what you mean by real, then dementia is not a real brain disease.

    Yes, there are symptoms. Just as you listed. What is remarkable (or inconvenient, depending on your ideology…) is that dementia and schizophrenia were once considered to be one and the same thing, and in fact for some unfortunate souls, the destiny long-term of dementia is also the destiny for some long-term schizophrenics. In that those will-annihilating symptoms are common to some people in both groups.

    But dementia is no more an established bone fide brain disease than schizophrenia.

  • “Researchers from Libet to Fried tried to prove that free will itself is an illusion, by showing that brain activity occurs well before we’re consciously aware of having decided to do something. They claimed this implies that our brains direct our actions automatically and involuntarily. But a more logical, likely explanation is that this brain activity is the biologic correlate of subconscious mental processes which voluntarily direct our actions. So these studies support Freud’s theory of unconscious feelings/thoughts often being the real drivers of our chosen actions, while conscious thoughts/feelings are just the tip of the iceberg.”

    This is a crude misrepresentation of Libet’s and Fried’s research findings.

    No-one knows what these research findings mean. Research is nascent in this whole area. But what it appears to suggest is that the conscious mind (whatever that is) becomes aware of making a choice to perform an action, about 450 milliseconds after the brain has set upon the task of performing the action. No serious scientist, least-of-all Libet and Fried, are suggesting that this means people are predetermined zombies. Although, a great deal of people kinda do become predetermined zombies, when they stop thinking for themselves. And that includes thinking for themselves when reading a blog post by an ardent, antipsychiatrist expsychiatrist.

    In fact, you link to Libet’s seminal paper, and in that very paper, he writes this:

    “A role for “the unconscious” in modifying and controlling volitional decisions and actions was advocated long ago. This role was inferred from analyses of strong but indirect psychological evidence. The present experimental findings provide direct evidence that unconscious processes can and do initiate voluntary action and point to a definable cerebral basis for this unconscious function.”

    So Libet did not, as you claim, attempt to prove that freewill was an illusion. What he found was that freewill wasn’t as straightforward as we had imagined it to be. And Fried also does not attempt to prove that freewill is an illusion, instead postulating the role of the conscious mind as a kind of censorious moderator of unconscious processes, being more of a kind of ongoing “will I or won’t I?” filtering of the constant stream of impulses arising from the unconscious.

  • Ideas are not people. Neither are punctuation and grammar. Punctuation and grammar are not people. Sending up an idea or punctuation of grammar is not ridiculing a person. Reach that point of insight and you will remove a great deal of unnecessary pain from your life.

    Please re-read my text. I make it absolutely plain that I don’t have any issues with people that wish to imagine they have an actual mental illness. It’s a popular modern delusion and I can just about tolerate it.

    In fact, dig deeper and you will see that I am not one of the hardliners that dominate under the line here. In fact, Joanna Moncrieff is more radical than me and relative to the regulars here, she’s a moderate.

    I believe that madness is like an illness. As with dementia, just because something is unestablished, doesn’t mean the investigation is done an dusted. It’s simply unsolved.

    I like to give people the opportunity to be supercilious. I think that is unconscious and relates back to my scapegoating in childhood.

    I have a pathological sense of humour. It is masochistic in its pursuit of shaming.

    Writing that made me laugh. Which again, is indicative of a deeply troubled mind.

  • Correlation is not causation. Clear thinking 101.

    If benzos are causing spree killings, why are spree killings not as common outside of the USA?

    I learnt today that it is federal law in the USA that anyone can purchase a semi-automatic firearm at age 18, and a handgun at 21.

    Seems a bit arse-backwards to an outsider. I also learned that individual states have their own stipulations. For instance, in Florida you can access all firearms at age 18.

    Your president said after the Las Vegas spree killing, that if the killer didn’t have access to 20th C. military-grade firearms, then he would have performed his spree killing using bombs instead.

    So again, if it woz the drugs wot done it, why aren’t spree killings on the rise outside the USA, including places where the notion of the-people-as-militia has long been put to bed as an artifact of history, and having no actual relevance in modern times?

  • Even if you capitalise the term “mental illness” you can’t make it more real. We are all survivors, until the end. Then we die.

    Something I learnt from listening to Johann Hari was that the next time I am suffering through a bout of unhappiness, I should try and buy myself a Cambodian cow, and tend to it. In fact, down at the local Wellness and Recovery Group, I’m running an innovative fund-raising campaign to get the money together so that every mentally ill depressed person can be allocated a Cambodian cow to tend to.

    The dung will go in a compost bin, which will be painted in bright Recovery-focused colours depicting tapestries of famous Recovery Journeys.

    It’s beautiful and the tears well up in my eyes just thinking about it.

  • There isn’t a biopsychosocial model of causation of mental illness. It’s more of a buzz-word than anything. There is no science behind it. It’s more of a badge really that people wear to indicate that they are against biological reductionism in psychiatry. I’m sorry that you are in love with a model that isn’t really a model. You may find some comfort in the fact that I too once fell in love with a model that didn’t exist. She was an airbrushed face on a page.

    It’s common sense that some unknown interplay of biology, psychology and social factors play a role in much of what we call mental illness, but there are some big glaring holes. For instance, mania, true mania (ie not induced by drugs or some form of hypnosis) seems to be a purely biological phenomena. Of course, its character will be influenced by personal and social factors, stands to reason, but as it is about energy, an overabundance of it, it can’t be sensibly pinned down as being a result of anything but a brain on steroids, to coin a phrase.

    “I learned from the book that bio/bio/bio is not reality…”

    Arguably biology is reality, in its most reductive sense. That’s what has current psychiatry all awestruck. Without a brain there is nothing, therefore only the brain counts. Problem there being that while that is most likely true — without a brain there is nothing — it is discounting all the many social and environmental and economic and political factors that happen when brains group together. And while it is incorrect to define the human being as a social animal (severely autistic people can be altogether asocial, but are nonetheless human, and all attempts at converting them into social beings being nothing less than inhumane) it is in social processes that human beings make much of their meaning. Not all of their meaning but much of it.

    I’m okay with you expressing the fact that, in so many words, you have suffered through life because of madness. You choose to call it mental illness and if you wish to, go ahead. Whatever you choose to call it, it remains an unknown. For a long time people have believed that the way to understanding consciousness (something else unknown) is to study mad people. In a nutshell, that study boils down to various ways of fucking with mad people. Psychiatry has led the way in experimenting on mad people for so long now that we have the status of guinea pig.

    But still no-one knows. Despite whatever anyone claims, it remains an unknown. In fact most attempts at explaining madness tell you more about the person attempting the explication. So you get fashions and trends and buzz-words…

    such as biopsychosocial.

    Best wishes.

  • Hello PatH.

    I know a number of people that accept their label, take the drugs they’ve been recommended to take, and work too. Predominantly in the system. And like you, they spend a lot of time alone outside of work. Work coming to represent their social life.

    Institutions offer the lonely a place to connect with others, if that is what they yearn for. It is not uncommon for people to deliberately cease taking their drugs, with the hope that a cold turkey will bring about a relapse, and an admission. So desperate are they to escape their despairing loneliness.

    Solitude is very healthy for many people. Far healthier than being thrown in with a bunch of strangers. The assumption that mad people are better off being locked in with other mad people is frighteningly condescending, but it’s the view that has been holding sway for a long, long time. Somehow, if one person hallucinates Thora Hird with wings promising them a celestial cup of yorkshire tea, and another person hears a voice telling them that all the answers to their problems are hidden inside their missing third foot, that they have everything in common, and are experts on one another, is a kind of meta-madness in itself.

    There is a provacatuer in the UK mental health system, called Rachel Perkins. She has an OBE.

    She understands personalisation. Which is basically the practice of humanisation. And includes thinking beyond one-size-fits-all responses.

    When TS Eliot was going through his breakdown, he instinctively knew he had to get away, somewhere nice, somewhere quiet, somewhere solitudinal. In fact, that is a universal instinct. To curtail peoples’ instinctual needs is to ignore their evolved wisdom. And personalisation is far, far less resource-hungry than other approaches, like Soteria. Just far, far more difficult to meet the approval of the reactionaries, whose teeth grind at the idea of something nice happening to someone else, at their expense, without some element of humilation as payback.

  • Just to add, I mean I would prefer to make my own choices about who I was being with and not being with, rather than someone making those choices for me. I’ve talked about this with someone with the s̶c̶h̶i̶z̶o̶p̶h̶r̶e̶n̶i̶a̶ label, who is quite content with it and the many drugs he takes. He says in the psychiatric hospital they use akathesia as a form of violent weapon, but that he is the messiah, has no reason to doubt that is so, him being the reincarnation of solomon, and that going to a place that sought to persuafe him out of that position was a form of violence too, and agreed with me that a hotel room of his own choosing would be a better option. So that’s two anecdotes. We’re sure many thousands of others would agree with us, if only they felt it safe to dissent from the prevailing e̶x̶p̶e̶r̶t̶s̶.

  • Given all the history, it would be fitting for a radical change in direction in worldwide psychiatry to be inspired by Israel and orthodox Jews.

    Can’t knock the aspirations of a place for people to stabilise without coercion, violence or compulsion.

    Hopefully it doesn’t stop there. People of my ilk would much be better off in a hotel room somewhere nice and sunny. Away from the madding crowd.

    Instead, we have to rot away in pain, despair and fear until the storm has passed.

    That gets called “care in the community”. The term has been scoffed-at so much for decades it astounds me it continues to be used.

    Just to add I would be horrified by someone “being with” me. I’d find that very unsettling. It’s not something I’d attempt with someone else. I’ve seen others attempt it and really all I saw was people having all sorts of fancy ideas about meaning and intent… converting madness into a kind of parlour game mix of cluedo and an old UK TV game-show called 3-2-1.

    But the “being nice”, “being patient” aspects I get along with.

    Agree with streetphotobeing that humans are innately judgmental. I think being more open about it is more honest than claiming to have overcome it.

    Again on a personal level, my dream of one day visiting Jerusalem might be coming closer to reality. I hesitate as the desire to go was implanted in me during a mystical experience. And I knew already about so-called Jerusalem syndrome.

    Doubt I could afford the private fees to be transported to a Soteria house, short of some miracle occurring.

    Would possibly be a great place to end up, during bad times. I specifically intend to mean, ending up in an Israeli Soteria House, rather than any old Soteria House. Orthodox Jews, to my mind and experience, being somewhat more wise and beneficial to be around than most.

    But as pointed out in the article. They don’t take the riffraff s̶c̶h̶i̶z̶o̶p̶h̶r̶e̶n̶i̶c̶* in. Which seems par for the course.

    Although would much prefer to be in a hotel room in a place of my choosing, with full room service and a reasonable stipend.

    * I noted someone on here lamenting the lack of strikethrough capability on this site. Reminded me that the strikethough is much better than putting contested psychiatric terminology inside quotes. The strikethrough not only demonstrates that the term is contested, it goes that one step further and rejects it, thoroughly, while still enabling sensible reference. Strikethrough generators are freely available through the usual freedom-respecting search engines, such as,, and

  • James Moore January 27, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Personally, I learned a great deal from reading the book and interviewing Johaan.

    littleturtle February 5, 2018 at 10:33 am

    thanks again james and johann….I read the book…lost connections….I learned a lot…very helpful


    What did you learn?

  • Yes, I understand that scientific writing and poetry are two different ways of using langauge. I’m perplexed as to why you feel the need to hammer that home.

    The point I made was really just a nittygritty correction to the claim you made that science didn’t rely on metaphorical language.

    In fact, much of science relies on a completely different language entirely, namely mathematics.

    I used the example of “black hole” in physics, because we all know the metaphorical term, but who knows or comprehends the complex maths?

    Much of science is so complex that we rely on science writers to condense the complex maths into a narrative written in a language we understand, and that process is as artful as writing a poem.

    And that is why we have been gifted with metaphors like “black hole” and burdened with the metaphorical “chemical imbalance”.

    “Poetry leaves full room for interpretation and creativity.”

    As does good science. A formal scientific study always ends with a conclusion and a kind of process of thinking aloud, speculating about what the results might mean. The results are interpreted and reams have been written about how various biases come into play.

    “Think of mad geniuses who revolutionized our understanding of the world, or successful artists who exhibit self-destructive patterns, only to trap their own gifted and prolific minds into a phenomenological dead end.”

    Well, Nietzsche went mad after he’d set out to the world how to intellectually rise above the masses. But I go with the scientists who speculate he was suffering from syphilis that had reached his superman brain, rather than put it down to burn-out or niacin deficiency. So while he does definitely attract the “genius” label, he wasn’t a mad genius when putting his thoughts to the page. I can’t think of any others off the top of my head. I’m fatigued after an 8-mile hike down canal paths. I expect there are numerous 10 Mad Genius lists out there.

    Now you are talking about “successful artists who exhibit self-destructive patterns”… like say, Sylvia Plath (the fairy goddess of moroseness) or Charles Bukowski (the drunk savant)…

    Earlier you were suggesting that people with schizophrenia were “failed poets” because they talked in a way that was highly ambiguous and metaphorical. Although, in my experience, most don’t. I accept some do. And this you speculate means that they are failed artists.

    But if any artist is producing work, then surely they are succeeding?

  • If If I were to make a rallying cry, for people to gather, to march against the offices of psychiatry in London, and protest for its abolition, I’d be lucky to gather a dozen people. I’d be marching through the streets past people who had compelling stories of how psychiatry had saved their lives. We’d be marching past people on antidespressants, anticonvulsants, uppers, downers. None of whom were under compulsion, and most of whom would feel mostly positive about their experiences.

    In other words, to the majority of people, we’d appear like a bunch of cranks.

    I had dreadful experiences too with psychiatry. I was tortured by them. Similarly, there are people that have had terrible experiences with police. Should they too be marching and calling for the end of policing?

    The law is the best we have. To end forced ‘treatment’. For human rights to be upheld and protected.

    “I also remember the self-indulgent fantasy of Winston Churchill and the allied forces. They didn’t understand the real world either. Fortunately Dorothy woke up, and the Nazis prevailed.”

    Both the allied forces and the Nazis had institionalised psychiatry as part of their state apparatus. Psychiatry is given a mandate by the state. It’s the nation state that ultimately decides who gets human rights and who doesn’t and what those rights amount to. In fact, every one of a state’s institutions is guided by the state in terms of how it operates.

  • @Antipsychiatric ReprisOwl

    [there was no symbolic reply button, so I’ve put it here]

    Thanks for sharing your explanation of a metaphor. I am not alien to the fact that the term “mental illness” is metaphorical. Although I would much prefer if people adopted the similie, the nudist cousin of the metaphor, and said, if they really had to, that madness was *like* an illness.

    I don’t have any personal hangups about being told I am suffering from something akin to an illness. Especially these days because I recently learnt from an article on here by Moncrieff, that dementia sufferers were also suffering from something illness-like. But which, like schizophrenia (and back in the days of Kraepelin the two were considered to be the same thing) has not been established in science as a bone fide illness. We could then make an imaginative and modern-day Malthusian leap, and put forward the idea that dementia is a conglomeration of poor coping skills, and a self-willed attempt to abscond from adult responsibilities…

    You write that “poetry and science use diametrically opposed types of language.” The field of physics, for instance, is very dependent on metaphor. That is why I can say “black hole” and have no actual progressed understanding of the science, but nonetheless be understood, in a referential sense.

    Using metaphors in scientific contexts is nothing untoward, or unprofessional. It’s unavoidable.

    I don’t go in for romanticising suffering. But because of how language works, all kinds of wonderful things can happen when listening to a mad person chuntering at full pelt. Our brain’s find patterns. In the absence of stimuli, our brains go into overload. When the stimuli is intense, we can feel like something amazing is happening.

    And if we feel like something amazing is happening, then something amazing is probably happening.

    ” And the prank- quean nipped a paly one and lit up again and redcocks flew flack-
    ering from the hillcombs. And she made her witter before the
    wicked, saying: Mark the Twy, why do I am alook alike two poss
    of porterpease? And: Shut! says the wicked, handwording her
    madesty. So her madesty aforethought set down a jiminy and
    took up a jiminy and all the lilipath ways to Woeman’s Land she
    rain, rain, rain.”

  • I agree with Robert Nikkel that, realistically, the abolishment of psychiatry is a self-indulgent fantasy, but would add that those on here that mostly go in for that self-indulgence, leap-frog over the vast chasm that separates the real world from the fantasy world. They have no idea at all really about how to get to their desired ideal. They have no viable alternative plan, other than, seemingly, leave people to do what they will, if they perish or cause others to perish, let that be the point people intervene, to clean up the mess.

    But libertarians are pretty much fantasists. Not that dreaming the dream is a terrible thing to do. But eventually Dorothy has to wake up.

    The system will not change from within, significantly. It will be changed from without, by reformed legal frameworks. As time passes, the human rights status of the mad and the deranged, the dangerous and non-dangerous, will improve, and all those routine human rights abuses will lessen, and perhaps even fade out entirely. All self-proclaimed reformers operating within the system really achieve is rearranging the chairs, as well as making career for themselves, and keeping their paternal keepers happy and safe. While the number of chairs are constantly cut-back.

    Psychiatry will survive these reforms. It has won over the majority of people. There are generations of people wedded tight to their neurochemical tinkerings, and as technology is gradually marrying man and machine, psychiatry will increasingly play the role of legitimiser of this process, offering new and exciting fusions of computer-controlled technology and the human body. There are currently no human rights laws that adequately cover the marrying of man and machine. And that is how psychiatry will save its neck, and prosper.

  • I agree with you that it’s a very snubby, often snotty, culture. And I don’t think that can be entirely accounted for by the narcissism and the fragility. It’s in-group and out-group dynamics. That pans out in all areas of life.

    There is also the ongoing terror people have of their ideas being stolen and ran away with by some half-soaked opportunist. It’s also a very snatch-and-grab culture, as Sera mentions in her article. That puts people on edge. Understandably.

    But it is also a culture that, through its parrying and collaborating, and enabling, of the unlawful and corrupt system, inevitably becomes rather fetid itself. Motivations are tainted. Egos are overblown. Abilities are exaggerated.

    And it remains so, that even here, there is an inbuilt paternalism, whereby the non-mad are the flames around which the mad must buzz.

    Some people, I accept, such as Sera, work hard at bringing people together. Other people, such as myself, encourage people to break free and go it alone.

    But that flame keeps burning, and we mad people find it irrestible, for all kinds of reasons. But we all play a role. If I was to configure my role, it would be to play a kind of Alexander Pope of the mh system, the one that exposes the vanity and pomposity and has a good laugh at it. Because one thing mad people generally understand, it’s how the seriousness can so quickly turn into sadism. Some people need lampooning more than they will ever know.

  • One other point, I almost forgot to add.

    Yet again the insistence that spending time alone, self-isolating, choosing to avoid others, was always, without exception, an unhealthy choice that would lead to depression.

    When in fact there are many people — with all kinds of colourful and exotic labels — that find socialising to be fraught, unpleasant, and unnecessary, a lot of the time. Sometimes all of the time for some people.

    It is true that some people are hurt very deeply by spending protracted periods alone. I know people who start to become maudlin within minutes of entering solitude. But such neurosis shouldn’t be normalised.

    It is possible to spend time alone and not be damaged by it. Or depressed by it.

    Not everyone needs constant feedback and reassurance from others, including those that self-identify as depressed. It would be just as damaging for some people to be given a “social prescription” and compelled to mix it up with other people.

    The reason why most people feel deeply unhappy is because other people are often deeply unsatisfying. The best remedy for that is to develop a sense of humour. Even if it’s just you laughing in a group of straight-faced stalwarts. It takes the edge off.

  • I enjoyed listening to this. I won’t be buying the book because I don’t need to be told what I already know. And much of what he’s written and talks about gets hammered home here every day of the week, in one way or another.

    What I did find interesting was his idea that we need to expand our concepts of home, beyond the walls of our living spaces, and connect with the people and places around us. In a kind of re-tribalising way. Which I thought was a very pretty idea, until I expanded my mind out, and imagined drawing in the many scoundrels and louts that live around me, who I would never wish to associate with, or share spaces with, any day of the week. I doubt they’d want to associate with me, either. So no love lost.

    However, what really struck me was how stupid people have become. Stupid in the sense of lacking common sense for things like spending time in nature, finding value in helping others rather than fixating on themselves, and the value of social groups, particularly the value of sharing resources and talents in communal ways. It’s a real shame that people are astonished by these ideas. A real shame.

  • “I wanted to point out that the terms “distortion”, “dysregulation”, and “dissociation” all include the “dis” prefix which means “bad”, which conveys that they are mere value judgments.”

    The dis- prefix does not mean “bad”. In the English language the dis- prefix commonly means
    “apart,” “asunder,” “away,” “utterly,” or having a privative, negative, or reversing force.

    Nothing whatsoever related to a value judgement.

    I think you are confusing the prefix dis- with the slang verb “diss”. An easy mistake to make for someone new to the field of language.

    PS Dysregulation does not have a dis- prefix. It has a dys- prefix. While they are homophones, they are not the same. In fact the dys- prefix is the only one of the three examples you gave of meaning “bad”.

    Additionally, in the word “distortion”, I’m pretty sure that the “dis” is not acting as a prefix.

    If I was to say (and I shudder to think of myself ever using the word in such a way) but, for argument’s sake, if I described my mood as dysregulated, it would mean that my mood was badly regulated, that it was up and down, but in ways that were self-defeating. That wouldn’t be a value judgement either. It would be an attempt to use a word to describe a mood. The only problem I have with using single words for describing moods, is that they strip away all the context and say nothing much about subjective states. Another handy shorthand, and nothing more.

  • Yes, work is hard. And no matter how much we sound our personal trumpets, we often feel unappreciated, used, co-opted and so on.

    In this article you are bemoaning not being acknowledged by the system. The corrupt and unlawful system.

    Fuck the system?

  • No-one is born with a lifetime guarantee. Life is not a marketing strategy.

    More dangerous than choosing to take antipsychotics is choosing to be a rockstar. Choosing to be a rockstar reduces average lifespan to levels from about 5000 years ago. Talk about regression? No, no. Sing about it. Thrash around wildly about it. Then die. That is cool. No-one is ever going to say it is uncool.

    I believe there is a general lack of sincerity in this world. And when people bemoan statistics about shortened lifespans, I question just how much they actually care. I mean they go on about it so much, makes me think their concern is so haughty they must have secret stashes of schizophrenics all over their home, like hidden Jews in WWII.

    Except there are no equivalent Ann Franks are there, being protected by the oh-so-sincerly-feeling-folk? Hardly any to be mentioned.

    Not that it is easy. I had a close friend who was threatening to be a rockstar. So I kidnapped him and locked him in the attic. To save his life, while he withdrew from his churlish narcissism. He was very ungrateful and continually threatened to kill me if I do not at the very least give his guitar and amp back.

    For his own good I refused his demands. He is now pushing 50 years old. And I believe is now retarded in emotional growth. But he is alive! And I think he’ll make at least 70. Which for his rockstar cohort, is something of a miracle.

  • Drugs are damaging. Ah well. What next?

    Campaign against sugar? Never gonna happen.

    Campaign against alcohol? O dear. What a mess that made.

    Okay let’s fuck up cannabis users…

    They say that antipsychotics take off an average of 25 years from a persons life. Ah well. They will still be living considerbaly longer than people from 200 years ago. And what would they be doing with this extra 25 years? Fuck all, for the most part. No loss then?

  • “If Mental Illnesses aren’t real, what are they?”

    They are what they always were. Unknowns.

    Of course as the good doctor understands, the original unknowns have broadened into known territory. The mistake the good doctor then makes is to forget about the original unknowns and depict the whole mess as known territory.

    This must be I assume because the good doctor is making his dollar from this mess but

    The good doctor is missing the point, the fundamental point, of his own question.

    Ah well. Reel em in, as they say.

  • Well Well, that was a good read. I mean it was fun to read. The effort paid off, for me at least.


    To be frank

    What do you expect?

    Haha hehe and so on and so forth


    You nose-dive into the swamp of corruption and unlawfulness and then what? What is it you expect to happen?

    You seem to be suggesting you want to be an activist, a maker of change.

    And then you nose-dive into the swamp of corruption and unlawfulness?

    It’s as simple as this: everyone who told you to change the system you have to be in the system was a liar, a sycophant, a bullshitter.

    The system doesn’t change from within. It never did and it never will. Choose any system you like, and this holds true.

    You want to be a whistleblower? Then you’re out. You are way out, expunged, gone.

    Every single person that plays with the system, no matter how they do it, are the system. They are part of the corruption and the unlawfulness, and the lies.

    True, as you hint at, there are narcissistic benefits, monetary benefits. But anyone working in the system, is the system. And they are part of the problem.

    Death of an Activist? No no no. The activism dies as soon as it jumps into bed with the tyrant, as soon as it prostitutes its values. That is where the death happens. The rest is simply melodrama.

  • Hidden SSIDs are easily visible to someone using the right tool. To do so requires no hacking. If there are hackers operating in your vicinity, then a “hidden” network is more likely to be of interest to them.

    If you’re concerned about security and privacy then stop using WIFI. It’s a liability.

  • Now that’s out of the way, this:

    I have long observed that those young, fledgling so-called schizophrenics are very partial to eating very frugally, from day to day, week to week, month to month. And that the dietary habits very often consist of eating nothing but breakfast cereal, bowl after bowl, with very little else. Maybe milk, if available, water, if needs be. Even dry hand to mouthfuls — let’s not shy away from the facts (those awkward details often left behind).

    And these breakfast cereals, as illustrated boldly, proudly, on the packaging, being fortified with vitamins and minerals, including niacin.

    In other words, many of the young, fledgling so-called schizoiphrenics, when left to their own devices, choose convenient, processed foods that provide them with far more than their recommended daily intakes of vitamins and minerals, including niacin.

    So there is no doubt that it is uncommon for a young, fledgling so-called schizophrenic to be low in niacin.

    And so we must conclude, o yes we must, that the input of quackery is not to be taken lightly, nor that should it be encouraged. Even though it is, and will go on to be.

    Severe lows in niacin can induce psychosis. This is true. So can extreme thirst and other forms of malnutrition. None of these extremes have anything to do with our young, fledgling so-called schizophrenics, who you will find, the world over, even now, you will find them, if you care to look, hiding away in low-light rooms, sitting on the floor, munching away at their breakfast cereals, exceeding their recommended daily intakes of niacin and other essential vitamins and minerals, as guaranteed on the box, bone fide guaranteed by the globalists and a-okayed by their respective governmental health experts.

    When first reading about this quackery, I must admit to being quite miffed, by the foolishness, the hubris, by the audacity and the — I can think of no better word — the derangement.

    High doses of niacin are very toxic — as the quackery understands — and can lead to psychotic symptoms.

    Luring young, fledgling so-called schizophrenics into these arenas of quackery is very, very sordid business.

    I implore you to leave them alone. Let them sit alone if they wish in dark rooms, with their bowls of niacin-fortified breakfast cereals…

    Watch them. Be there for them. But please stop fucking with them.

  • It isn’t so difficult to understand “the hesitation”.

    Imagine if I touted heroin as a cure for hubris, and then invited you to try it, at high doses, as a cure…

    Would you be hesitant?

    Probably. Maybe if I renamed the heroin after some obscure south american idol, and called myself a doctor, you’d be more inclined, less inclined?

    Yet hesitant, nonetheless?

    I should cocoa.

  • I haven’t read the article. My frontal lobes are all in knots looking at the picture of the woman lying prone, in that impressive spiritual intersection between yoga and deeper gastrointestinal encountering.

    And she’s receiving some green gloop intravenously. And that look on her face.

    It should be a caption competition.

  • If you like to ingest your mercury and other highly toxic heavy metals in fishy form, then a fish-rich diet is the way to go.

    Fish are also a great way to ensure you get your full daily intake of plastic particulates.

    If you prefer to forego the heavy metals and the plastic particulates as much as possible, then forego the fish. Try alternative healthy foods containing your needed amounts of pesticides and other carcinogens.

    Mediterranean people are not more happy than others. But they are often more demonstrative and upbeat. I don’t know who came up with the idea that Mediterranean people were more happy. But a great bit of trolling, all said.

  • I don’t venerate a text because it has been published in a peer-reviewed journal. It doesn’t really make any difference to the soundness of what’s written. Most journals — especially in the social sciences — are arenas for mutual masturbation, if truth be told.

    I’m sure Gautama was a lovely man, even if he abandoned his wife, children, family and friiends, in order to allocate his time into gazing deep into his own navel. And it is wonderful that so many people can now limit their navel-gazing, there being a martyr from the 7th C. BC who did all the leg-work for them, gifting the world with a number of indecipherable riddles and paradoxes that give the impression something unknown is known, something impossible is possible, and of course, the number one met-need: that you are very special and important within a cosmic framework.

    We’ll never see eye to eye on this. But the wonderful thing is the scientists just get on with discovery, innovation, and advancing humanity, while the hippies focus on their navels, and things just seem to go along, all tickety-boo.

    Happy New Year and best of luck and health.

  • Some thrilling soap-boxes, again. Here’s me, clambering onto mine…

    MDMA is a love-drug. Love. sex and togetherness. You remember all those raves you never attended? That’s what happened. Love, sex and togetherness.

    Critique number one: but drug-induced love is not ‘real love’. What then is ‘real love’? Please don’t attempt to answer.

    What is most frightening to me is the idea of a psychiatrist taking on the role of “drug sitter”, a person that accompanies someone on drugs to ensure their safety and so on, and does not take the drugs themselves. The surges of love and connectedness, the overwhelming ecstatic union of being. With a psychiatrist? Forgive me, but, why spoil the fun? Unless the psychiatrist also pops one… but then the most likely progression is some kind of sexual union.

    Ewww. Shivers.

    You remember all those love-drug heads from the 90s? Where are they now? What world did their love revolution contribute to?

    This one. This one of fakery and social isolation. Of narcissism and insincerity. Of fundamental disappointment.

    There are many people that just don’t get it; so drugging them into euphoric alienation is the way to go. Better than sitting back and watching them suffer with the realities of their world and the world they live in.

    I fear the advance of MDMA into mainstream life because of how boring it makes people. The utter tedium of a fakey positivity. The selfsame fakey positivity that renders the world a dank, homogenous shithole. Bright colours and bullshit sentiments. Smiley faces and faked personas.

    Having stated all that, I’m all for any new comedy in life and MDMA’s crazy moon laughter is something to hope and wish for. Much better to laugh oneself to death than morosely humbug through the days. And if that means popping summat, then go for it. Just remember that no amount of stimulants can transform a boring person into a non-boring person. The best you can hope and wish for is to not stand out so much as a curmudgeonly party-pooper. Even if that is your natural state.

  • “The biggest barrier to understanding the mind is the materialistic assumptions of many claiming to be “scientific.”

    New Ager propaganda. Oft-repeated, rarely examined.

    The dominant theories in neuroscience all posit the mind as an emergent property, as like a rainbow, a chimera, an illusion. In other words, neuroscience considers the mind to be a non-material property arising from material properties.

    This does not sit well with the New Agers. They consider the mind to be a material property arising from non-material properties (the illusory world).

    New Agers believe rainbows are more real than the eyes that perceive them. They are over-zealous materialists. With nothing to measure, no science to guide them. Just wild assumptions, superstitions, gut feelings, peculiar hunches. Primitive texts.

    Science is not held back by refusing the incorrect beliefs of New Agers. Refusing to chase rainbows is not a handicap.

  • For one momentary shudder of a moment I thought there was a conspiracy of inducing dementia in people and then fucking them up with drugs in order to go on to induce actual physical correlates, and that the whole brain-scan culture of fear and lies was an intentional appendage to the demonic discourse.

    It might be.

    But I think people are taking knocks to the brain throughout their lives that are not rubberstamped as such, so’s and such it all gets shrugged off and disregarded.

    Even to this wretched day people are prattling on about the disconnect between having your head repeatedly bashed in, occasionally losing consciousness, and then it all happening again, as having any plausible, sensible connection with later diminishment of mental faculties. Or personality or mood change. Unless the necrotic persona falls bankrupt. Or they are looking for some way to plead innocent.

    People talk about plasticity like it’s just been discovered. But long before that shitty word there were stories told of the man that took a knock to the head and then ended up as a fucking werewolf, or the mad old lady that lived alone and she lost it one night and ate multiple babies. Or the man that dug a large hole and then got down into the hole and told them to cover the hole and come back when all the birds had gone, and the day came the birds had gone, and they dragged the false heaven’s back and he was on his back with one foot in his mouth, chewing it, and was wide-eyed and covered in his own defecate.

    Brain damage.

    All of it. At least for this evening I will console myself with the nihilistic notion that every moment of learning from that first albuminic splice, is brain damage. It’s probably a heavy metal song. There’s probably a long, groin-slapping guitar solo in the middle section, and I’m not liking it.

    Happy Christmas.

  • No-one really needs chocolate, blow-jobs, reddit, twitter, ripped jeans, lipstick, hair transplants, dogs as pets, amazon gift vouchers, netflix, and so on and so forth.

    Almost all human needs are manufactured.

    But drugs, psychoactive drugs — and alcohol is a drug — are very much a human need. It is a deplorable statement to claim otherwise. Now one person digs their downers and another person digs their uppers and all I can claim to know about this is that the people that prefer their downers look down on the people that prefer their uppers, and vice versa… but moreso both groups are in constant denial about their drug dependency, which in itself, is a deplorable term, because it suggests that in some way to be dependent on drugs is somehow unnatural, and is putting aside the glaring facts which I will repeat again

    everyone is dependent on psychoactive drugs

    and for clarification, this caveat

    your brain is your very own illicit drug factory

    to live a life without psychoactive drugs would require a life without a brain. very few people have the mettle to accomplish such a task. I am unable to name one such person. but surely such a person must exist, as so many advocate for them?

  • Remarkable how that one political move by Hitler and his cohorts to incorporate the word “socialist” into their party name to confuse and confound joe public, even now, 70 or so years after the fact, continues to confuse and confound joe public.

  • Because if they do, then surely everyone else should too? Including the alcohol industry, the caffeine industry, the sugar industry, the synthetic sweetener industry, all contact sports, low-oxygen environment bucket-list pursuits, the internet, numerous new age interventions, jogging in urban environments, breathing the city air, the list goes on and on.

    I’m not an advocate for brain damage, although, realistically, in a moment of absolute honesty, I must admit to being quite partial to a bit of it, from time to time. Which places me in that sweet spot often referred to as the “average human”.

    I write that not to undermine you, more to point out how desperately hopeless it can feel when trying to advocate against brain-damage in a world that by and large endorses it, albeit quietly, often unwittingly, under the surface so to speak.

    O and, Happy Christmas!

  • Thanks for the article. Some trumpets need sounding from time to time.

    Freud made safe spaces for his analysands to talk to him about their mommies and daddies, who fuck us up. Now, following several billion unexpected consequences, in a drug-savaged Kraepelinian landscape, regression is emancipated, unrepressed. Spaces made safe. Age-play, adult diapers, some mocked-up soiled with peanut butter and others willed in a peculiar act of defiance.

    A mind is an unsafe space.

    Learning from Freud is learning from Judaism, from the Kabbalah, that the complex interplay of our three conflicting minds and our three innermost conflicting tendencies — the sacred triad within the triad — is that we are beings in ongoing creation, in formation, in change, always. And that attending to who we are, is attending to who we are becoming. And in so doing, to borrow some contemporary lingo, we are being with our own becoming.

    Freud was a great pioneer, we all owe him a great debt of gratitude. But don’t have any Freuds yourself.

  • Forgive me and so on and so forth but I am compelled to comment.

    Thoughts are hallucinations. Thoughts are comprised of words, images and emotions. In all combination and in limitless contexts.

    Thoughts are not real. When people make the mistake of believing that their thoughts are real — or that other peoples’ thoughts are real — they risk stumbling into an hallucinatory state known as delusional. A delusion is not an hallucination. A delusion is the narrative of a chosen-set of hallucinations.

    An old man tells people he is going to carry a piano up a mountain. To demonstrate a point. Don’t ask me what point he intended to demonstrate. I haven’t a clue. No-one has.

    Even still, in order for you to even know about the old man that said he was going to carry a piano up a mountain, the very notion had to be hallucinated — by the old man. And then by others, and me. And now you. And the old man did carry a piano up the mountain. It was a real act, a vital act. And for a while it was all the old man spoke about. And then he died. And the piano fell apart and decayed. And then was not to be seen. The words fade. The hallucinations are all in flux. All of them.

    I was asked, Will you come to the Recovery House? I hesitated for some time. What if I went to the Recovery House, and then relapsed? Would that even be possible? If we name something after a process, does that guarantee the nominated process?

    As it turned out, I went to the Recovery House and relapsed. As did others. In fact, more people were relapsing in the Recovery House than they were recovering. No wonder then people began to ask if it wouldn’t be more transparent to rename the Recovery House, the Relapse House.

    Recovery is a chosen-set of hallucinations. Otherwise know as a delusion.

  • Yes, me too, my parenthetical comrade. I was also thrown onto the ropes by that claim.

    Given, I assume, the author is harking back to the 60s, 70s, possibly 80s, of the last century, in which time psychiatry endured the most intense backlash to its healing pretenses, with the birth of the antipsychiatry movement, the challenge and then downfall of its mighty institutions of abuse, its hunger for lobotomy and leucotomy, and other diverse brutalities… all this against the background of the MKULTRA experiments, with its first international president, Dr Ewen Cameron, conducting unlawful CIA-funded experiments on unwitting Canadian victims and so on.

    Begs more questions than my weary soul can bring itself to ask.

    However, despite the delusional bubble-popping, people like Eve A. Wood should always be welcome to sit at the table and share the manna so many others refuse.

  • The takeaway line for me was:

    “However, there are some situations that we universally think of as brain diseases that do not have characteristic and distinguishing bodily features. Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is one of these. In the early stages, there are rarely any physical symptoms, and even by the later stages there are no specific characteristics that mark out the brain of a person who is suffering from dementia from anyone else.”

    I didn’t know this. I’d been merrily running along under the assumption that the opposite was true. Probably in similar ways that people think that schizophrenia is an established brain disease.

    It’s going to take me a while to work through this revelation. Lots of jokes already, almost all of them entirely inappropriate. Which is great.

  • People like their personal data presented in a colourful digital form. They like their bluetooth devices and their smartphone apps.

    But don’t be rash.

    The worst psychiatric regimen to be on is the depot injection.

    This new device offers some light to those unfortunate souls stuck on monthly injections. There isn’t any reasonable way one can fake or subvert having a needle poked into one’s backside.

    As the device relies on a very simple though ingenious chemical reaction — as someone pointed out above, the acidic conditions of the stomach can be simulated at home… and the pills dropped into the pseudo-stomach acid, triggering the rice-grain-sized chip to transmit its signal of compliance.

    And if that didn’t work, the trendy wristband that complements the pill communicates its various messages including pill-in-stomach events to the cool personalised smartphone app via bluetooth. And again the bluetooth signal can be captured, copied, subverted.

    And if that didn’t work, the smartphone app will send its collected info to the cloud, I presume using personal or public wifi. And again that communcation can be intercepted, analysed, subverted.

    So as I say… to go from the absolute of a depot injection to a technological solution full of exploitable holes, isn’t such a bad thing for that small but significant number of people who wish to assert their right to refuse.

    The data collected also has the potential to give a more accurate picture of the impact Abilfy has on peoples’ activity levels, and heart-rate and so on. As all that data is collected too. It isn’t all bad. This data could be used as convincing evidence that one particular drug is not the best for an individual. It would give them actual evidence to present to health-providers.

    This first incarnation of the technology is not really a reliable method for coercing or enforcing drug compliance. Because the sensor and the communication process are not reliable enough.

    Compliance-enforcing technology will follow this, of course. That’s inevitable.

  • These technologies are not overall “disgusting”. By and large their deployment will save many lives.

    There are lots of people with multiple complex conditions that for one reason and another forget or omit to take their medication. Such systems will help them and help their health providers.

    But of course, psychiatry tends to piggyback, and here it is piggybacking again.

  • In a nutshell, these devices work by detecting a chemical process, then sending a signal. They are incredibly cheap to manufacture at scale.

    They won’t be cheap for health-providers to purchase and deploy. Because of the abundant costs of historic R&D coupled with salivating shareholders and a rapacious profit-motive that is endemic in the pharmacological culture.

    For a while they will be easy to subvert.

  • No. For every one person that resists, one thousand acquiesce. And that one person that resists only burdens the one thousand that acquiesce.

    If the one thousand resisted, which they won’t, then, supposing that they did, the impact would be felt on their lives only, by and large, and nobody else’s.

    Here is a crumb. Divide it by one thousand. That’s all you’re getting. Need more? Then divide that same crumb by two thousand, by three thousand. It’s still all you’re getting.

  • Patents were being filed for these technologies in the late 90s, early 2000s. I have been writing here and there a little bit and attempting to discuss them for the best part of a decade. Paranoia, people insisted, paranoia.

    The good news is that WIFI WPA encryption is broken and bluetooth is laughably leaky. So there’s a lot of scope for ethical hackers to come to peoples’ rescue, if indeed, they want to be rescued. Sadly, the majority don’t.

    Agree with Michael Cornwall, this marks the beginning of the new age of psychiatric intervention. And it’s the tip of the iceberg. There are many invasive technologies under development that will follow this. If you don’t accept the new technologies, expect to be treated as a Luddite.

    Overall these new technologies will be welcomed and embraced as a new form of urban cool. The narcissists will enthusiastically share their microchip updates on social media….

    Also… assisting someone in subverting these technologies will be a criminal offence, akin to assisting an escaped patient.

  • “wasn’t my self-harm a natural reaction to that situation?”

    no. your emotions were the natural reaction. the self-harm was the failure to allow the pain.

    and I don’t mean to play down the intensity of the pain.

    thanks for writing this. that you are reconfiguring your experiences and giving them a social context is great to witness. truly. my hunch is you are going to do well. youre going to be okay.

  • Seems prudent to add this end note from the same link:

    “Bonsall evidently hoped that Abraham Sharp, seeing how painful it was to die, would want to live longer. Bonsall’s efforts reveal that although moral treatment was supposed to be kinder than traditional treatment of the insane, it still used fear as a method of treatment to some degree. Abraham Sharp did not try to kill himself again, but he also did not recover. He stayed in the Asylum for about 8 months, and was discharged, still “insane,” into the care of his friends.”

    Moral treatment…to borrow your coinage….whatever!

  • I resist romanticisation and romanticisers.

    Moral treatment (love and compassion and tenderness at all times) sounds too good to be true. Given that these were institutions and power differentials were striking.

    Here, for instance, is a first and account of one of the recipients of moral treatment. A certain Mr Abraham Sharp. He attempted suicide. This is what happened next:

    “He proposed that We should drown him [as punishment for trying to kill himself] in consequence of which and in the hope it would have a salutary effect I proposed to the Doctor and Men caretakers to have the Bathing Tub nearly filled with Cold Water and put him in under a pretence [sic.] of drowning him they did so and held him under for some time. He was glad however to get out and willing to live some longer.”

    from here:

  • There isn’t a mind. It’s an illusion. You speak of materialism, but really, you are depending on the mind having some form of material basis in order for it to manifest somewhere other than a brain.

    Last person I debated this with made a final appeal to “gut feelings” as evidence enough. Made me chuckle anyway.

  • Apologies for the promise of engagement and then a swift exit. I’ve been working hard improving the unnatural nature pond in my back garden, which this summer was utterly bristling with life, including the emergence of a number of newts, which I hadn’t seen since I was a boy.

    In short, this is my objection:

    If Gaia is a living being, and Nature is a “thing”, then how can you differentiate human beings from Gaia and Nature?

    How can we sensibly suggest that anything — and I mean anything — that humans do is not part of a natural and therefore organic process?

    I understand that it has long been a kind of agreeable position to take. For a human male or a human female to think of themselves as different, other, separate from, Nature. But exactly how can that be?

    The new coinage on the block is “eco anxiety” and increasingly I’ve been encountering people beset with this often severe ailment of thinking. “We are destroying” (insert noble planetary cause here)… and “We must act now to save the” (insert noble planetary cause here).

    I’m not a fatalist. I don’t think this is the best possible world situation to
    be living in merely because it is the only one available but

    If supervolcanos had consciousness, would they too become aware of their destructive natures and encourage one another to think of themselves as outside of nature, to nourish self-disgust?

    While fools are busy saving pandas and trying to get them to mate (while at the same time destroying their habitat, which makes saving them seem like another form of human sadism)… insects the world over are diminishing in alarming quantities… yet who for instance is calling for the rescue of the bluebottle or the daddy longlegs?

    My point is that human destructiveness is natural. It is Nature’s way. And if the planet Earth does have a consciousness, then we as humans are a part of that consciousness… which really just means that, in psychiatric terms, the earth is suffering from some kind of planetary personality disorder bought on by trauma in its early development ie having to endlessly turn around the sun while being defecated on endlessly, rotted and bled on endlessly, and suffering intense shocks with regards collisions with meteors). Also to have to spin on endlessly, around and around, with no compassion from the other planets, no validation whatsoever, no so much as a nod or a wink from anyone, ever, at all. And so on.

  • Or even better — after discarding all mental detritus, all that is left is the ability to comprehend God, and therefore I am a living being and God is real. Or words to that effect.

    A lot of Descartes’ most important thinking work was conducted inside a large oven. He found it was the best method to block out all distractions. And perhaps why his conclusion is half-baked.

    Interestingly, Daniel Dennett achieved some of his own breakthroughs inside a large industrial microwave oven. These insights are shared in his seminal text, Consciousness Explained (which many canny folk add “Away” to at the end, as that is what he does, he explains consciousness away). Consciousness is an illusion. A kind of ongoing hallucination. I found, as many have and do and will, coming to terms with that idea as a bit of a blow to the ego (a conceptualisation of aspects of an illusory hallucination).

    The last person I tried as best I could to explain this to (admittedly from a half-arsed, clumsy personal grasp of the subject) complained that if they were an illusion and I was an illusion, exactly how did these illusions seemingly merge? Were we making another illusion?

    But perhaps, Dennett’s solution to the problem is merely an attempt to deny there is a problem, and hence the solution is a cop out. I don’t know. It all seems well cooked on the outside but colder and semi-frozen on the inside. Like it got cooked in a large industrial microwave oven.

  • The survey of 1500 people revealed that the “condition” is widely misunderstood. The article warned that myths about “schizophrenia” are dangerous. The main findings were:

    • 50% of people think that schizophrenia means you have a ‘split’ personality
    • 26% believe that schizophrenia makes you violent
    • 23% incorrectly think that someone with schizophrenia needs to be monitored by
    professionals at all times
    • 45% of the general public thought the illness much less common than the one in 100
    people that have schizophrenia

    1500 people are not indicative of the “general public”. This is a poor study. Bad science. And was it replicated? I expect no. More bad science.

    I like this bit: “• 23% incorrectly think that someone with schizophrenia needs to be monitored by
    professionals at all times” –“. ie, one person they have in their minds. Not “everyone”.Someone. Someone perhaps such as “Nicholas Salvador AKA “Fat Nick” needs to be monitored at all times. So if the 23% have him in their minds, then they’d be right 100% of the time.

    Here’s another one. “• 45% of the general public thought the illness much less common than the one in 100
    people that have schizophrenia”. One in hundred people do not have schizophrenia. In the UK, if that was correct, then about half a million would have schizophrenia. Yet they don’t. About 120,000 do. The figure of 1 in 100 is a very loose estimate of lifetime rates of schizophrenia, not how many people are currently suffering under the diagnosis. So the 45% of people in the survey were actually correct.

    And so on and so forth.

  • Thanks for writing this. You have a challenging and provocative style.

    I hesitate to tell you why I object to your fundamental assertions; would be like being presented with a handful of roses, and then tearing them to pieces. Although, someone must have torn the flowers from their stems in the first place, so maybe actually engaging with your words wouldn’t be such a terrible thing to do?